Logan v. Miss. Dept. of Transp.Annotate this Case
This negligence suit arose out of a single-car accident that allegedly occurred due to an improperly performed bridge repair. In 2011, the Logans were traveling south on Highway 49 in Tallahatchie County when they drove over a bridge that recently had undergone repairs. Both lanes were open, and no warning signs were present indicating ongoing repairs or a dangerous condition. Two protruding crisscrossed metal plates caught the undercarriage of their car, causing the car to spin out of control and to come to rest facing south in the northbound lane. According to MDOT, flat metal plates routinely are bolted to bridge decks during structural repairs temporarily to cover fresh concrete while the concrete cures, with the bolt head and steel plate not extending more than two inches above the bridge deck. The Logans alleged that these particular metal plates were not properly attached to the bridge, had bent upward and were projecting dangerously above the road surface. The Logans sued MDOT and the Mississippi Transportation Commission. The defendants moved for summary judgment, asserting immunity under multiple provisions of the Mississippi Tort Claims Act. The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants, finding that the maintenance of the bridge is a discretionary function under Mississippi Code Section 11-46-9(1)(d) and that the defendants therefore were entitled to immunity. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment on the failure-to-maintain claim, and affirmed the grant of summary judgment to the defendants on the failure-to-warn claim. The Supreme Court also affirmed in part and reversed in part, finding that the trial court and Court of Appeals erred in concluding that no disputed fact existed regarding the Logan’s failure-to-warn claim. The judgment was reversed and the case remanded for the trial court to perform a more detailed summary-judgment immunity analysis of the Logan’s failure-to-warn claim.